Def Leppard is more than two decades removed from its most popular records, but its accessible rock has aged well enough to keep the group impressively popular over the years. The group came to the Comcast Theatre in Hartford Tuesday night as the headliner on a three-act card, where it powered through a typically slick rundown of hits that began on a pleasantly cool summer night and ended in a torrential lightning storm.
After beginning the show with a video presentation that ran quickly through the band's history and claimed, "that was then, this is now," the band spent its time almost exclusively on then. Only one of its 16 tunes was from its current album, as the group focused instead on the likes of "Rocket" and a slithering rendition of "Rock On."
Always able to do impressive things with meticulously polished studio work, the band didn't always translate them to the stage in ways that measured up, as in an "Animal" ill-served by the raw edges in its chorus. Singer Joe Elliott's haughty bark was augmented by processing on many tunes, including "Foolin'," but not so much that it sounded false.